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A little bit further down and to the side

13/01/2022 - 15/01/2022
Date limite: 

A little bit further down and to the side is a winter school focusing on dance and performance in Southern/Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. The project was born out of a desire to interrogate concepts and practices of dance in regions relegated to the ‘periphery’ of Europe, be it through their culturally, financially, or politically minoritarian position in the continent, their positionality in the Cold War and its aftermath, or through colonial history and neo-colonialist hierarchies. At the same time, it critically addresses forms of privilege present in the interstitial situation of this periphery. A little bit further down and to the side places these interrogations in the current context while looking at historical processes contributing to peripheralisation.

The winter school aims to facilitate the creation of a community of researchers (theorists, practitioners, and everyone in-between) who will engage in three intense days of exchange. Each of the three days will be structured around a practice-oriented workshop, communal lunch, a symposium, and a keynote or performance.

A little bit further down and to the side is organised along three thematic axes:

Day 1: Trans-locality and decentralisation
How can we identify common issues in different local contexts without losing sight of their specificity? What concepts and methodologies allow us to develop dance discourses and histories that link these contexts without passing through Western Europe as a necessary reference point? What are the conditions for and implications of connections with other cultural centres beyond Western Europe? (How) have specific conflicts – notably the current war in Ukraine – influenced trans-local alliances and fostered solidarity? How do specific genres (e.g. ballet, contemporary dance) facilitate (or monopolise) trans-local alliances? Can we consider the interstice, the in-between, as a common denominator across Southern/Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean? How do ‘European Others’ (Fatima El-Tayeb) within Western Europe relate with agents peripheralised to the margins of Europe?

Workshop: Sevi Bayraktar
Keynote: Steriani Tsintziloni in conversation with Rok Vevar

Day 2: Shuffling categories and timescapes
Are the classifications used in Western historical narratives (‘contemporary dance’, ‘dance modernity’) meaningfully applicable in the ‘margins’ of Europe? How can we re-fold time and reshuffle categorisations if we look ‘a little bit further down and to the side’? Which categories, concepts, and terms about dance and performance have been projected from Western European discourse into peripheralised scenes, and how have these notions been appropriated, recontextualised, and transformed? (How) does the region’s current, highly volatile context translate into dance practices? How are categories reshuffled differently in different local contexts, e.g., along demarcation lines traced by the Cold War or colonisation?

Workshop: Olia Sosnovskaya
Keynote: lecture-performance by Mariem Guellouz

Day 3: The margin as potential
One can often find, in Western Europe, a discourse of ‘lack’ regarding the dance and performance scenes of European ‘peripheries’ (as in the ‘lack’ of institutions, infrastructures, or a particular dance tradition). To what extent is this idea of ‘lack’ a universalist projection of Western modes of thinking and functioning? What opportunities exist to practice differently and interrogate concepts taken for granted in this perceived lack? How can this be reconciled with artists’ struggle to improve their working conditions and visibility? What practices and concepts acquire dominance within specific Southern/Eastern/Mediterranean contexts, and what local margins are thus produced? (How) can peripheralisation be transformed into an opportunity? How has exotification been appropriated and used critically and strategically in Eastern/Southern European and Mediterranean contexts?  

Workshop: FreeSZFE society / Kinga Szemessy & Domokos Kovács
Performance (tbc)

Call for papers
For the symposium part of the winter school, we invite contributions by researchers with theoretical and/or practical backgrounds and methodologies. Each symposium presentation will be given a 45-minute slot; please propose presentations of approx. 25 minutes to allow time for discussion. Theoretical, historical, and artistic research contributions are welcome. To apply, please send:
- A short (approx. 300 words) presentation of your proposed contribution
- A short biography (approx. 200 words) and links to recent work/publications, if relevant
- A list of technical requirements for your presentation
to Anna Leon, curator of the Tanzquartier Wien theory programme (aleon@tqw.at) until 9 October 2022.

- The winter school is, for the moment, planned to take place in person in Vienna.
- The working language will be English.
- TQW can propose a remuneration of € 100 for each symposium presentation. Presenters will also receive free tickets for the performance on Sunday evening and lunch on all three days.
- As much as possible, participants are asked to stay for the whole duration of the winter school.